Pulled slowly from the sheets, then sprang off the edge of the bed to speed up, leave my dreams. Skipped, jumped, and hopped in the buff to my laundry lump, leaned against it and lifted the curtain corner. Found outside the world waiting. All in order, reset, and empty of activity.
A full moon's reflection of sunlight shone upon the cul-de-sac floor from directly above, which meant I'd slept in a bit longer than my ego minded. But at least everyone else on the street'd still be asleep this time of night.
Grabbed from the pile loose pants and underwear, pulled them on in two strides trying to regain footing. However, only hurried into a tripping curse to the door, stopped short, grasped both sides of the verticle and hardwareless rectangle and set it aside.
Utilized the inescapable pause to breathe, closed my eyelids tight. Stood there for fewer than five units, drapes drawn -- voluntarily blind. Blocking out the overriding, misleading, and distracting sensation of sight while finding my spirit. He sat native style and surprisingly at peace inside this bumbling beast. Already ready actually thanks to a night's rest beside a beautiful furnace.
Could hear her closeby purring. And sighed at the increasingly cheesy sentences in my head, but smiled as I shook it.
Snuck quick through the threshold glancing back as milky light gave contour the curves of a half swaddled, half sprawled figure atop the mattress. Rhythmic blue huffs came from somewhere unnoticed moving low within that bump. No bedframe beneath her, no chest of drawers set up, nor tables, chairs, or cabinets. Concrete floor. A room in someone else's basement, but she still stayed on occasion because maybe men don't become lovable if women aren't patient.
Although the only space she owned, too, waited in her parent's home, it'd prove more conventional for her than staying in a hostel space with a twenty-eight-year-old. True, but neither of us had reached complete adulthood, yet, anyway, not through the eyes of every "grown up" we knew. All of whom, ironically, in increasing ways also resembled children, kids, and babes just as confused.
In any case, it's amazing how few things are needed for some form of love to be present between people. Almost zero things. In fact, perhaps material objects actually interfere with transmission to a certain extent. Cause static. And this accumulates, especially when a paid-for abode holds mostly purchased identity and unnecessary comforts. Secular social success means the acquisition of increased elbow room and redundant plates of food at the table -- metaphorically speaking -- but, physical representations of status nonetheless. Checkpoints in the artificial, hierarchical class structure invented, blueprinted, and implemented by impressively rich capitalists. So obvious and banal by now that it's cliche to point out or act like there's anything worth doing about it, if, in the end, money is meaningless.
Stepped through scattered cat litter in the common area, my cue to sweep. No lights on except above the sink. Made due with that and quietly cleaned. Automatic hands praying in a practical, active way, while silently ranting inside.
Each and every consumer indefinitely invests eagerly in an enigmatic which-came-first, chicken-or-the-egg, unquenchable conundrum of want. No judgment necessary, it's just that more drink means more thirst. More things means more work. And with infinite explorable space existing for most persons, and more objects filling that expanse than could ever be encountered by all -- obviously, hoarding land and material is an illogical waste of precious experience only available, changingly, for a wink of years.
And people keep wanting more, whether or not they've already even swept their floor. Or taken care of other important matters, sure.
Practice what you preach, I muttered -- not to avoid hypocrisy or scandal, nor even just because of true belief. But because action is how humans make prayers into reality.
Last box of L&M's on the kitchen counter. Removed the lucky, another, a lighter, and the foil paper before heading to the door. Travis the Cat meowed as he hit the floor, followed me out with a meow. Pitter-pat footfall added to my trundling tip-toe wouldn't gain us notice thirty minutes to four. Witching hour.
Our block slept deeply as we stepped, scanning. Me smoking my second-to-last factory-made cigarette stick to escape nothing and Travi just living. Toast to a giving up ceremony. Buried the lucky in its cardboard box beside the construction at the end of the road.
Travis observed this. And as I looked around for a thing to do, he hunkered down. Mimicked him and he ran off, so I followed. Hid behind a tree as he did and snuck strafing toward him, into a trap. Cat jumped out and we both ran to the next yard, hiding and seeking. Wrestling in the grass, on the asphalt, in the driveway.
Went back inside and returned to bed. Had work early, and needed to be the first one there.
Quick stop at the gas station down the street, but didn't buy cigarettes. Girl got me a sandwich, though. Ate it with a piece of pink. Held tight to the steering wheel to keep from smoking. Didn't tell her.
Pulled into the lot, kissed, and bid farewell. Went to work buzzing, alert, and feeling swell.
Focused into each mechanical and repetitive action allowed me really feel inside and at one with my body. Monotomy an exercise in mindfulness. Sometimes in modern society, we find ourselves beholden to structures unvolunteered for, situations out of our control, obligations imposed. Working for money. Registering property. Made up concepts. But to do a thing for the sake of doing it harnesses zen energy regardless. Being active encourages even if the exact task doesn't inspire.
Drugs not required.
But even lower forms like caffeine push me forward. Dark night of the soul all the while drawing closer each hour sober. Crushing load of the world's heaping hopelessness on every artist's hunkered shoulders. Perhaps this rationalizes over-frequent reminders, but try as we might to illuminate the night, many other long-established games are distracting us and in the way.
Evolution hasn't come to an end, it's changed. Now mankind progresses collectively, on a social scale escalating exponentially. Our physical bodies already take care of themselves, for the most part, shedding cells no longer needed and healing as we feed and care for it aplenty.
Apex predator at the top by a lot in the physical realm, but other aspects of our being need be culled and challenged, too, to progress as a species. Aspects that don't maintain themselves as well as our well-established animal sides. Dreams attempt to untie the unconscious mind at night if individuals actively won't or can't, but only through inner activity can a host straighten its soul. If one exists at all -- but that's the point; we cannot ignore our brain and body as easily as our spirit, so that much more should we seek it. Even and especially if doubting such a connection to the infinite, because the rest of reality has been proven enough.
Wade the painter came up during a lull. He said more thn asked, "Time for a smoke?"
"Specifically not," I sputtered out, thank you Saint Florian -- who spoke his peace even when faced with a flaying, being burnt at the stake, and finally drowned by the Romans. Or so goes the legend. Cable also had too much to do and excused himself from any breaks, so reinforced my own prayer to be a better version. Declared to the three people there, "I quit!"
"You quit smoking?"
"Well," I shrugged. "Factory cigarettes. Not necessarily tobacco."
"What does that mean?" he asked with a stick in his mouth, but he left before an explanation. Which was fine, since I didn't have one.
Went back to work and felt the same as before, but coming down. Embraced the penance of my dull assignment. Atoning in advance and for overlooked past turbulence caused, every spoken thought and deliberate movement an opportunity to improve the planet, local community, peers, or at least one's own. Our playthrough in this simulation itself a prayer, even. An elongated play with countless act breaks, dancing from birth to death in a decades-long ritual of demonstration, simultaneously reflective and transformative. And in the end, collaborative.
Music made by our whittled instruments, when tuned and practiced with, inherently praises the universe -- of course -- but an orchestra suggests integrity in community to create a symphonic chorus. And although various social constructs and LLCs attempt to instill, highjack, and harness this unwitting sense of duty into songs of unknowable intent, we always each have a unique voice. And probably, stop to think, our own important ballad to sing.
Cable reappeared as soon as my task ended. He'd fixed a broken AC and I'd put in the rest of the ceiling. Two objectives complete.
"Today is zippin' by," he observed.
"We haven't been interrupted."
"Right," he exhaled. "Makes a big difference."
Bruce arrived as we were leaving and gave a new directive. Another chronological change to the list. Clean the property we'd started in the morning and worry about spraying weeds until after. Noted. I nodded, but Cable actually wrote it.
"Always something to do," Bruce assured us before he went into the building smiling broad, going up to check our work. Cable waved and smiled, then lit up once the elevator doors in the lobby, beyond the glass atrium entrance, had fully closed.
"Yeah, right," he said.
"Technically he's right," I tried.
"There's always something to do," I explained. "But limited time."
"Right, yeah." Nod, squint. "There's no way we'll get to the weeds today. They're supposed to show the place at three."
"So why weren't we there all morning?"
"If there's always something to do then it must be hard for Bruce to realize when he's doing too much, you know? How does he know when he's finished?"
Cable put his smoking cigarette butt in a trash can, but didn't answer. The sky turned a fast, flat overcast. Chance of rain, at least. Perhaps another storm on the way.
So many friends and family after my attention that I ended up giving it to the girl I'd been seeing all summer instead. She'd become one of the only people who didn't pressure or ever request me to be something else. No mask to wear because I never had, not scared of judgment or policing around her, neither of us ever mad.
And, although the plan for her afternoon not really my jam, went along because I couldn't decide on anything else. Nephew's birthday party. Hour south of Kansas City, but it meant she might go to my friend's event the next day as a sort of repayment, so accepted.
Crowds and new people are draining. She introduced me to one set of people she knew before telling me they were the worst. Then why meet them? They were her cousin's wives. But they were the worst, and I could tell.
The packed party at Belton's Memorial Park provided more people watching than interaction, leaving my social energy mostly intact after. Said hello to her sister and brother-in-law. Met them before, but being randomly present reminded them of me in case of future forays, which seemed more likely now because of the reminder. Kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Like loving the one your with instead of being with the one you love; it's the same, depending on perspective.
Ecstacy comes in little flintstone shapes.
Alcohol before, I think. Because in Kansas City we pre-game. Then, early, we drank nervously at the bar. I switched to beer. Had too much of it, and cigarettes by accident. A tall man inscrutable, immovable. The girl untamable and she knew that the particles which render our environment are manipulatable. An only child at heart commanded thee move aside giant guy, but he really refused.
Had to pull her away. Went to the ultra white restrooms and found a stall on the women's side.
Nothing more intimate than feeling someone tremble, embraced and connected. Impossible probably for consenting adults to not fall into eros erroneously, of course, because love can be learned as well as spontaneously discovered. And chemical reactions in our monkey brains teach best.
But the instant gratification of love at first sight is alluring, akin to winning the lotto. Not likely, but fashionable enough for people to purchase tickets to the game, only to walk away empty-handed every time. Never knowing they could actually just make the thing they're searching for on their own.
Making and sharing love aligns our inner prisms with divinity. The physical version of this is preferred popularly for its obviousness, reaching heaven together and perhaps even creating life. Not necessarily knocking it, but it's not the only way. In any case, two "sane" or otherwise rational mates can make love out of nothingness. Choosing based on physical preference doesn't have to be laziness or lustfulness, depending on intention.
This girl at the show, held close, darkened pools of emerald embossed and projecting catchlights into mine -- she had less in common with me in hobby and taste than any other girl I've considered, the only of my blessed female teachers I'd originally felt frustrated by, even hated back when I thought I knew her.
A great way to misunderstand someone is to arrive at a conclusion about them, especially if you haven't been with them every day of their life, past and future.
Hadn't judged her back then because of her body or even her actions, but because of what I assumed to be inside each. Projected motives. So easy to misperceive when everything's seen from a single perspective in a three-dimensional environment. That's only one side inspected at a time with essentially infinite sides from which to angle one's view. Literally and otherwise.
Look at the panorama you reside in -- a full rectangular oval of vision -- and there's infinitely more unseen than seen. Every microscopic polygonal particle that populates the objects in a slow pan shows human eyes only one to three of its six or more sides. If lighted. But, mostly a person's surroundings hide behind circles, rectangles, and triangles.
A triangle hung from her necklace. Black metal. In her nose, too, and colorful left ear crossbeam, belly button barbell, and if she got another piercing my head might explode that I could even touch such a person. So powerful and realized.
Neither of us reached the end of our business in the stall before we felt growing awareness in the area. Which, sure enough, a line had formed outside. The show had ended and our only choices became flee or felony.
So lightheartedly law seems to lovers. She lit a cigarette on the sidewalk while my chest pounded with chemical processes somehow less deadly and more beneficial than tobacco, yet illegal. The enhanced physical connection tore through every imagined division between us, leaving a warm network of family reflecting in my wet eyes.
Tripped over the sidewalk, nearly vomited, and stopped to blink several times. Waved away an offer of her long L&M.
"I was kinda thinking, maybe..."
"We take that other stuff, too?"
She took a pull and puffed, "Yeah," she winked. "Get out of my head."
"The strength of your brainwaves allowed me to intercept."
"Whatever," hip bump, and we continued walking. Got on her left side automatically and led us to the vehicle two or four blocks away. Past plenty of graffiti that grabbed our collective sets of conical perception, swirling like spotlights at our surrounds.
"I love that bird," she decided at the last wall.
Looked where she gestured, at a shape I'd stared at many times. Only just realizing.
"That's a bird?"
The truest wonder women provide, perhaps even more so in a patriarchal society, is constant surprise and novelty. Unlocked the car and we were in there for a minute before I finally drove off, new additions made to the bloodstream. A cancer stick in my fingers, too, even though I gave them up, and we drove away.
Often the heteronormative male masters his limited faculties and feels omnipotent, when actually the female animals have all along been focused on other things anyway. Simple men run one program at a time for optimum efficiency, get tunnel vision, don't notice.
Still can't compete with a creature capable of constant and actual multitasking.
There's a base reason for the dog and cat metaphor that rarely gets mentioned. General gender role comparisons aside, the dog is obviously equated to the masculine energy of doing. While cats exemplify the feminine energy of being. A dog is a useful and often superior organism of action and power, but ultimately, was domesticated. It's not in charge. Cats, however, do what they want. To the extent and scope that they domesticated themselves in alliance with monkeys, meowing to mimick a babes cry, manipulating with cute aloofness all the while, but won't wait long after an owner croaks to eat his or her face.